KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has dismissed a petition assailing the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed observed that the issue had already been addressed by the SHC through a judgement.

Samira Mahamadi, a regular litigant, invoked the jurisdiction of SHC under Article 199 of the Constitution to challenge the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013.

The petitioner contended that the law be declared null and void and ultra vires of the constitution as being grossly repugnant to Islamic ideology and tantamount to state terrorism.

The bench said: “The subject has already been addressed through a judgment of this very Bench in the case reported as Ali Azhar versus Arzoo Fatima (PLD 2022 Sindh 01). That being so, the petition accordingly stands dismissed in limine.”

The law in question prohibits the marriage of any child under the age of 18 years in Sindh and provides penalties for a male contracting party and the person who solemnises the marriage as well as the parent or guardian concerned.

Plea against Nacta Act rejected

The same bench has also turned down a petition impugning the vires of the National Counter Terrorism Authority Act, 2013.

Ms Mahamadi again petitioned the SHC and contended that Nacta law was infringing Article 19, 19-A, 22 and 28 of the Constitution with it broadly being alleged that it impeded the Islamic way of life as it sought to address the mainstreaming of madressahs as well as the subject of population control.

The petitioner further argued that Nacta was abusing its authority to undertake social/religious/culture engineering under the garb of national security.

“Be that as it may, the Petitioner has been unable to advance any cogent argument to substantiate her challenge and a perusal of the memo of petition reflects that the same does not disclose any valid ground justiciable within the scope of Article 199. The petition, being misconceived, accordingly stands dismissed in limine,” the bench in its order said.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2022

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